Space Alert Mission Generator
Space Alert is a cooperative board game by Vlaada Chvátil. In 2010, he published an expansion, The New Frontier. The players are space pioneers on a simple space ship, and must work together to defeat a variety of attacking enemy craft, invading forces, and untimely mechanical failures. The game comes with a CD containing eight sound tracks, one of which is played during the game, which tells the players when threats appear and other events occur. The expansion came with eight more sound tracks, which are longer and offer more threats. The rest of this page assumes you are familiar with this game. If you are not, I recommend you buy a copy and play it a few times, and if you enjoy it come back and read the rest.
The Space Alert Mission Generator app creates random missions for your players, and also walks through the resolution phase of the game. You control many features of the random missions on the setup page, as listed below:
- Threat Level: With regular threats counting 1 and serious threats 2, this is how many threats your team will encounter. From 1 to 16, where 16 will give a serious threat on phases 1 through 8. Standard five player missions a level of 8, whereas a four player mission has 7. This mission generator does not have “unconfirmed reports” because it can set the threat level correctly and thus they are not needed. Advanced missions, the ones found in the expansion have 10 or 12 for 4 or 5 players, respectively.
- Duration: Minutes of time for the entire mission. If you pick 7 or 8 minutes, it will become a training mission, without a second phase, and thus also without threats in the second phase nor any serious threats.
- Incoming Data: If you play with 4 or 5 incoming data, you will run out of cards in a normal 5 player game.
- Data Transfers: Both data transfers and incoming data will be spread around the mission to times that they would likely be useful. Sometimes, due to programmer laziness, you may have two data transfers shortly after each other. If this seems to be a real problem, report it as a bug.
- Comm. Down: Number of seconds of communication failure. They will be split up in 2d6 second sections.
- Mission Type: This selector assumes a normal 5 player mission, but makes it easy to pick preset values for other mission types. The Lone Wolf variant is when one player has four androids to control and access to all the cards. As such, the Lone Wolf does not need incoming data, data transfers, or communications down. If you manually change any of the sliders, this switches to Custom Mission.
- Difficulty Bonus: In the New Frontier expansion, players may keep track of experience points and gain more points for completing missions successfully. The base bonus is 2 points for these missions, so the app grants the same 2 points for any non-training mission picked from the Mission Type selector. But if you decide to have a harder mission by reducing incoming data or data transfers, or adding communication system failures, the difficulty bonus will be adjusted up; or you could make it easier, earning a lower bonus. The algorithm is 3 + 0.2*commDown – 0.1*incoming – 0.2*transfers – 0.1*duration + 0.1*treats. Reasonable people can argue for a different algorithm, and if you think of a better one, please report it as a bug.
- Sound Files: The default is Simone’s voice for the mission and walk through, but the recording from the game is also available as “Original English.” If you use the latter, Simone still does the walk through because the original game does not include the words needed for the walk through. If you would like to see other languages in this app, please report the request.
The Play button at the bottom will generate and start a new mission. While the mission is running, the Play button becomes a Pause button. You can abort the mission by clicking the Abort button, which will take you back to the setup page.
The About button will pause the current running mission, if any, and show five buttons that will play some game sounds for the currently selected sound option. When teaching the game, it helps to play these clips so that new players know what sounds to expect.
Known Issues: When a mission is aborted and a new one started, the timer is confused and runs at double speed. I’ll fix it as soon as I can.
If you have any questions or suggestions about this app, or want to help me add additional languages to the game, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org